Posted by: sea2stars | January 13, 2010

2010 Year of the Tiger

New years brought together old and new friends for me in Taiwan. I was very lucky and had my first visitor. My friend Nina likes to boycotting the holidays season and this year she came to Asia, in part due to my new location in Taiwan. I had new years day off from school so for new years eve I went with a new Taiwanese friend, Debby, to Kaohsiung (gow shung) to meet Nina. While Debby and I were on the train to Kaohsiung we ran into Debby’s friend Rei (Ray). Rei happens to live in Kaohsiung and decided to come with us and see the fireworks.

We arrived in Kaohsiung rather late because I didn’t get off work until 9. We picked up Nina at the hotel and went to the fireworks. Kaohsiung has a small subway with only 2 lines. We had to switch trains and literally push our way onto the subway. (Side note: I have definitely gotten over a lot of my personal space issues due to cramming myself onto trains, straddling people on scooters, and children climbing on me all day) We arrived at the fireworks just in time. Their were tons of people. I was actually rather surprised that the streets lacked a traditional market for such a big event. I maybe wouldn’t have noticed or cared except for the fact that I was starving, it was almost midnight, and I had no beverage to celebrate the New Year with. As I looked around at all the people I began to realize that no one had any beverages and everyone seemed completely sober, which I have never seen for new years before. The firework display was very nice and the funniest thing happened when they were done. Quite literally at 12:03, when the firework display had ended, it was as if someone had said about-face and everyone turned around and headed directly back to the subway. Their was no continuing to celebrate in the street or people yelling or cheering or anything really. It was the tamest New Years I had ever seen. But luckily my night wasn’t over yet.

Debby, being a good hostess, looked up a great bar for us to go to on New Years. We had to fight the crowd of the subway again but we eventually arrived at the Lighthouse Bar and Grill. It was already 1:30 am by this time and Nina and I very briefly considered calling it a night but decided we could have a few drinks. It was the best bar to find on New Years and made me question what country I was in on numerous occasions. First off most of the bar was filled with expats, mostly Canadian, and then they had a Canadian band playing Irish music. Although you might not see the hilarity of all of this, you would, if you understood that on any given day if I am out and about in my city I very very rarely see another foreigner. To run into a whole herd of them in one place and to briefly feel like I’m back in the states having a drink with my friend was actually pretty awesome for me and a great way to ring in the New Year.

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